Triskaidekaphobia …

No US military vehicle has it, most buildings in North America ignore it, Microsoft’s Office suite jumped over it, commercial airlines don’t offer seats with it, formula one racing forbids it’s use as does the Atlanta Braves baseball franchise! So what’s so funny! I am afraid of the number 13! I just want to make it clear I am not a Paraskavedekatriaphobia. This is an individual who is afraid of Friday the 13th’s. I’m afraid of all 13’s!!!

I wrote back at the end of March that I had a fear that most thought foolish. I wrote: “Although the definition is an “abnormal fear”, for me it’s not abnormal. It’s a a real fear, having lost my first apartment to a flood on September 13, 1985, my second apartment to a fire on May 13, 1988 and my current home having a car drive into the living room on June 13, 1997. For those of you who want to check, they are all Fridays. So don’t expect to see me doing anything particularly dangerous on a Friday the 13th. In fact it is quite rare to find me leaving the house … which apparently isn’t that safe anyways! This year there will be a Friday the 13th in June and I am scheduled to be completing the shooting of the ESPN, TSN and FOX Sports show Fins and Skins in the Dominican Republic. Yeah me in a boat in the open ocean on a Friday the 13th … that should make real good TV!”

Well it’s June 13th and I am not in the Dominican Republic. In fact I am sitting quietly in my home watching the day slowly pass. With any luck my home won’t flood, burn or be the target of anymore automobiles! I keep playing with the idea of going to the shop to complete the new illusion I have been working on but the thought of power tools today is … well quiet frankly … frightening!

I am reminded of the joke where the comedian says he is having a rough day. That when he got out of bed and open the bedroom door the door knob fell off. When he picked up his briefcase the handle fell off too. Which explains why he hasn’t gone pee all day!

For those of you who still think I am a weirdo let’s take a closer look …

This is the symbol of the Knights Templar. They were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders. The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages. On Friday October 13, 1307, King Philip ordered de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templars and scores of other French Templars to be simultaneously arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake.

It is believed that Loki in the Norse pantheon was the 13th god. More specifically, Loki was believed to have engineered the murder of Baldr, and was the 13th guest to arrive at the funeral. This perhaps relates to the superstition that if thirteen people gather, one of them will die in the following year.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. “It’s been estimated that [US]$800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day”

The British Medical Journal, one of the most popular and widely-read peer-reviewed general medical journals in the world, did a study showing that there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents on Fridays the 13th.

Well, I’m off to read a good book. Worse that can happen is a paper cut!

In 2009 it will be a record year as there will be three Friday the 13th’s … looks like I should be looking for some good books to read next year too!


“In life there is really only one thing you totally control. Your character.”


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